Optimistic people may live longer and experience less stress: Study
Being optimistic may help to improve a person's emotional well-being and help people live longer, according to a new study in the US.
Researchers from Boston University have found that optimistic people live longer, healthier lives than pessimists, and say it's because they have fewer stressful events to deal with.
A study was published Monday in the Journals of Gerontology.
Previous studies have found evidence that optimists live longer and healthier lives, but researchers do not fully understand why having a glass-half-full attitude might contribute to healthy ageing.
'This study tests one possible explanation, assessing if more optimistic people handle daily stress more constructively and therefore enjoy better emotional well-being,' said Dr Lewina Lee, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University.
In the new study, the team followed 233 older men over a 24 year period.
At the start of the study, which began in 1986, the men completed a questionnaire to assess their levels of optimism.
Then, from 2002-2010, the men were questioned again on up to three occasions about their daily stressors and mood on eight consecutive evenings.
The results revealed that more optimistic men not only reported lower negative mood, but also more positive mood.
They also reported having fewer stressors, which was unrelated to their higher positive mood, but explained their lower levels of negative mood.